Google owned Israeli start-up Waze has launched a carpooling pilot called RideWith in the Gush Dan region of Israel, an “easy way to connect with people who have similar commutes, so you can ride together on the fastest route”.
Drivers can opt-in to the service via the Waze app while riders need to download the new RideWith app, available from the Google Play Store.
Unlike Uber and Lyft, drivers using RideWith do not make a profit.
Riders pitch-in on the cost of gas and wear and tear on a vehicle by reimbursing the driver via the app when the ride is complete.
Drivers can charge a small fee based on the distance travelled and wear and tear, of which Waze gets a 15 per cent cut.
The app has been launched as a limited trial for Android users who commute and is available only during standard rush hour times.
“Carpooling can be a hassle and difficult to manage. With deep local traffic insight and a large, passionate community, Waze has developed RideWith to serve Israeli commuters at their greatest time of need: rush hour. We hope to learn a lot from this pilot and will let you know how it goes,” Waze said in a blog.
Google bought Waze in 2013 for about $1 billion.
Waze allows users to drive with the app open on their phone to contribute road data and share reports on accidents, police traps, and other hazards.
It also allows online map editors who ensure that the data in their areas is as up-to-date as possible.
In February, the head of a union representing the New York City Police Department asked Google to deactivate a feature on Waze that allows users to share the presence of police in real-time, New York Daily News reported.
Meanwhile, Uber recently shut down its UberPop service, which allowed non-professional drivers to pick up passengers in France following the arrest of two executives and protests from taxi drivers.